WHY POINTS ON YOUR DRIVING RECORD MATTER (PART 1): DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION
How Drivers get Points on Their Licenses:
In most cases in Arkansas, points on driving records are monitored by the Department of Finance Administration (DFA) instead of by a court. The effect of points on your license will depend on how many points you accrue. The first few points will not impact your ability to retain your license or drive. But, the more points you get, the more likely the DFA is to suspend your license. The DFA assigns points to driving records based on the following general guidelines:
- All moving violations – 3 to 14 points;
- Reckless Driving – 8 points; and
- Speeding (less than 15 mph over the speed limit) – 3 points.
Further, DWI points are usually the highest number of demerit points that you may accrue on your driving transcript. In addition, committing a DWI offense will bring you a driver’s license suspension or revocation, depending on the number of previous offenses of the same type. The number of previous offenses will also affect how long your license is suspended.
The Effects of Accumulating Points on Your Driver’s License:
The process of disputing a traffic ticket, reckless driving charge or DWI requires you to go to court and you will probably need an attorney. If you are convicted or admit to one of these charges, the DFA can then use that conviction or admission to add points to your record. Remember, when fighting a traffic ticket, drivers should not pay the driving fines as that is considered an admission of guilt. Once you have started accumulating points, they will start to threaten your ability to retain your license at the following amounts. At fourteen (14) or more points, a notice is sent to the licensee advising them of a proposed suspension action and advising them that they may have a hearing to discuss the proposed action. The DMV’s website indicates that:
“Persons with 14 to 17 points may be suspended for three months; 18 to 23 points may be suspended for six months; and 24 or more points may be suspended for one year. A hearing is automatically scheduled and they are subject to the Hearing officer’s discretion, which ranges from no action, probation, restriction or suspension. If the licensee fails to attend hearing, the licensee is automatically suspended.”
Though the DFA in Arkansas may follow these guidelines to some degree, the Arkansas statute gives the DFA broad discretion to restrict your license when you are convicted of certain charges, especially when they are suspending the license for less than a year.
Charlcee Small is an attorney in Northwest Arkansas who focuses on criminal defense. If you would like to meet with her to discuss your case, please contact the Joyce Law Firm to schedule a consultation.
JoyceLaw Firm was founded in 2002 by Kirk Joyce. Each of the attorneys at the Joyce Law Firm focus in specific areas of law, including, but not limited to: personal injury, immigration, criminal defense, family law, and business law. Contact the Joyce Law Firm today at 479-442-5577. More about Joyce Law Firm